Adjunct Professor with Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs since 2002, Dr Lawrence was formerly Principal Technical Adviser, and Deputy Director, Social Development Division of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. He served on the Executive Committee for the 1990 World Conference on Education for All, Jomtien, Thailand, and was UNDP liason for the 1995 World Summit for Social Develoopment in Copenhagen. He is primarily known for his work on National Human Resources Development. Four UN Secretary-General’s Reports on HRD were prepared under his leadership. He helped design, and was the first Director, Global Hub, of the worldwide subRegional Resource Facilities (SURFs) system, which was a first step in integrated knowledge management in UNDP. Part of this process was introduction of e-dialog into global conferences.
He has been actively involved with the work of United Nations agencies and other multilateral and bilateral agencies since 1985 in social development, and specializes in human development, program management, and relationships between education and livelihood. He has consulted regularly with governments, and private and public organizations in the US and overseas. Most recently, he has supervised/advised Columbia (SIPA) graduate students in several joint projects with UNDP addressing innovation in development practice and policy around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
A former senior research psychologist with the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, he has authored more than 100 publications in books and technical journals, and has programmatic and policy experience in over eighty countries in all world regions, and on all seven continents. He has a strong interest in electronic networking for social development, and has contributed to using these new information technologies for opening up the functioning of the UN system to wider participatory involvement (see Virtual Teams: Reaching Across Space, Time and Organizations with Technology by Jessica Lipnack and Jeffrey Stamps. John Wiley, New York 1997; Gurstein, Michael. Community Informatics. Idea Publishing. Hershey, Pennsylvania, 2000 and E-Dialogue, Social Policy and the United Nations. Techknowlogia July/August 2001). His work with a team from Michael Hopkins International has resulted in multi-year followup work to the team’s original Black Gold to Human Gold initiative in Azerbaijan, as documented in the second Volume of the 2015 textbook `Ecopsychology: Advances from the Intersection of Psychology and Environmental Protection.’ Praeger. New York.
As with many of us, he has both an Indoor Resume and a (different, less formal!) Outdoor Resume. As former Outward Bounder, Royal Marines Commando, family man, accomplished fiddler, mountain climber, explorer, skier, sailboarder, kayaker and mountain biker, he uses spare time actively. He lectures widely, and speaks to a variety of audiences across his several interests. Married to Dr Sonia Balet, former Dean of the Business School, and former Academic Dean, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, he has two children, Lisa and John, and grandsons Robert and Christian. He is also proud godfather to Rachel, and Charlotte. For contact, or more details, please email him at: [email protected]
This is an outdoor page. A more formal (suit & tie) `indoor’ page cyber-resides here. Dr Lawrence’s outdoor resume includes a few wild exploits with the climbing wing of the Royal Marines 42 Commando (National Service and RMFVR), then serious fun with the Oxford University Mountaineering Club, two seasons boxing for Oxford (winning against Cambridge), and then co-founder and first President of the OU Canoe/Kayak Club, followed by eight years as an Outward Bound Instructor initially in the UK, then after a protracted 0verland Expedition to Afghanistan with Andrew Maclehose and Roger Houghton, and subsequently Pakistan, India, Nepal, Malaysia & Singapore to Australia, New Zealand, and the US (North Carolina), and a fair bit of climbing and exploring around.
Now mostly he kayaks in Puerto Rico (off Domino’s) and mountainbikes/skis/hikes and kayaks and plays his fiddle (as JohntheFiddler) in New England.
The picture is taken of him at Helen Lake, below Avalanche Gulch, Mt Shasta, after a successful June 2000 climb with Powell Hutton and Mark Bewsher. Other routes have included some in the Himalayas, Andes, European and New Zealand Alps, Australia, Alaska and Antarctica. Many of these were new routes, including leading several pitches leading to the first climb by Peter Young, John Whisenant, and Jim Marshall, of the Original Route on Whitesides in western North Carolina (after the renowned Tom Frost warned him that the Yosemite bunch were looking at getting it first), also the Caucasus Corner (with David Witham) on the Belougerie Spire in Australia, the North Ridge of Mount Hopeless in New Zealand’s Southern Alps, the North Face of Mellizos in the Cordillera Vilcabamba (with Bob McKerrow), and the first ascent/traverse of several mountains in Antarctica including Mt Supernal. He is also among the relatively few to have climbed both summits of Mt Denali, the highest mountain in North America.
For some reason best known to the NZ Government, for whom he led an exploratory expedition (with an amazing team consisting of Graham Hancox, Bruce Ridolls and Dave Gobey) into the TransAntarctic Range in 1966-7, a mountain range separating the Seafarer and Mariner Glaciers in Victoria Land (the `Lawrence Peaks’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Peaks) at 72º 50’S 166 º10’E) is named after him. He also was fortunate enough to enjoy (with grateful acknowledgement to the forbearance of his beloved, if non-skiing, wife) twenty great, active years patrolling with the US National Ski Patrol (National Number 5849) without crashing too badly or getting sued.
The mountains are indeed a shared joy. We must preserve them and the livelihoods of those that dwell in and around them. The work of the United Nations, and of institutions and NGOs devoted to the preservation and sustaining of mountain lands and people is a start. If you are interested in these efforts, he would be glad to hear from you, and provide you with further information.
For contact, or more details, please email to: [email protected]